For Whom Is Political Coverage Written?

Wagner, John
March 2004
Nieman Reports;Spring2004, Vol. 58 Issue 1, p18
This article offers insights about the trends in U.S. political coverage as of March 2004. Generally, a number of journalists faced difficulties when analyzing the status of political campaigns within the country. Early in the campaign, one point seemed indisputable: there really is no longer any such thing as a local paper when it comes to political reporting. This is due to the advent of several Web-based publications like The Hotline and ABC News' The Note that direct readers to political pieces. Audiences in print and on the Internet had different interests and tolerance levels for political coverage, such as that of John Edwards. The online readers could not get enough details about the campaign and its inner workings. Partly due to these diverging interests, in late 2002, the newspaper decided to launch a Web site in which the news and information would be devoted exclusively to Edwards. Eye on Edwards was launched a few weeks prior to Edwards' announcement of his candidacy in January 2003. For the author, having covered Edwards closely led to some rather strong relationship, both with the candidate and his serving aides. The author also realized that his coverage of Edwards have affected his career plans.


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